Christendom’s student writing club, Inkspots and Inkwells, recently published their first collection of short stories.

Christendom’s student writing club recently published their first collection of short stories. Titled Inkspots and Inkwells Anthology Vol. I: The Chronicles of Atira, the book contains six stories from students, all set within a thrilling new world developed collaboratively by the aspiring writers.

Christendom’s liberal arts education emphasizes the importance of writing well throughout its curriculum, with students assigned numerous papers, along with a senior thesis, during their time at the college. The time spent honing writing skills often leads to students seeking out other writing opportunities outside of the classroom, from journalism to op-ed pieces, to also fiction. For the latter, the student writing club has been an outlet for years for students to exercise their writing talents so that they can sharpen their intellects and contribute to the overall college community by the expression of their own God-given creativity.

This year, under the guidance of English language and literature professor Dr. Michael Strickland, the club took on the task of writing the club’s first anthology of short stories. For freshman Helen Davis, this was an exciting opportunity to enhance her writing skills outside of the classroom.

Siblings Madeline Davis (left) and Helen Davis (right) both worked on the book, with Madeline serving as an editor and Helen writing one of the six short stories contained in the anthology.

“We spent most of the meetings during the fall semester crafting the world in which the stories would take place for the anthology,” says Davis. “As a club, we had at least two meetings during which we discussed major worldbuilding points such as the divine and creation aspects. From there, everyone split off into their own ideas, but we each brought our ideas to the meetings and worked out any kinks in plotting or setting that we had. The bulk of the stories themselves were written over Christmas break and finished at the beginning of the spring semester before they were submitted to the club’s president for formatting.”

Throughout the process, the students continued to learn from Strickland as well, who held a workshop on pulp fiction and the structure of a conventional short story for the students and sat in on a few of the meetings where first drafts were presented as well, offering advice about the scope of the stories and what themes were appropriate for the anthology.

The end result of the months of hard work was seen right before the end of the academic year: the publication of the collection. The work of fantasy fiction offers readers the opportunity to explore complex moral and philosophical themes through six short stories as they journey across the width and breadth of the continent of Atira — all designed by the students.

With the publication of the anthology, the students involved join a long line of alumni who have taken the writing skills honed at Christendom into other publications. Some, like Charlie Spiering ’05 and Daniel Duca ’22, now work as journalists for major publications. Others, like Ben Hatke ’00, work as fiction authors.

For more information on the anthology, visit here.

Christendom’s student writing club, Inkspots and Inkwells, recently published their first collection of short stories.
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